Late Friday evening (September 30, 2022), India successfully scuttled China’s attempt to pass an anti-AUKUS (Australia, UK and the US) resolution at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) meet in Vienna.
According to sources the issue had come up at the General Conference of IAEA which took place from September 26-30 and after China failed to get any majority support it then withdrew the resolution on Friday.
In 2021 amidst the global lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic the AUKUS member states had signed a pact under which Australia will get support to build six nuclear powered submarines.
China which has been upset with the new alliance which is military in nature and its plans to have nuclear powered submarines in the Indo-Pacific Region has termed this as violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). In fact it has even gone to an extent to criticise the role of IAEA for its position on the issue.
And during the discussions in Geneva that India’s deft and impactful diplomacy was appreciated by the IAEA members especially the AUKUS members.
According to sources quoted above the Indian Mission to the IAEA in Vienna has been working closely with other members of IAEA on this matter. And, “It was because of India’s considered role, several small countries were able to take a clear stand on the Chinese proposal,” said sources.
In September, the UN nuclear watchdog had already expressed its satisfaction with the pact, according to information in the public domain. And as far India is concerned, sources said that it took an objective view of the technical evaluation which was done by IAEA.
Which countries are members of IAEA?
Besides India there are 35 members on the board of IAEA and these included: Mexico, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Russia, Senegal, Slovenia, South Africa, France, Germany, Guatemala, Spain, Switzerland, UAE, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, China, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, Ireland, Vietnam, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Libya, Malaysia, the UK and the US.
More about the nuclear powered submarines that Australia is planning
These are expected to provide stability in the Indo-Pacific Region and once these are ready and are in the waters Australia will join the elite club of countries that have such submarines.
The US, the UK and Australia are expected to play an important role in the Indo-Pacific Region and will help to ensure rules based international order. And will also deepen ties in the Indo-Pacific and further strengthen the Integrated Review commitment to reinforce alliances with like-minded allies.